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(Serious Eats)   I've never made my own bread? What's an easy crusty white bread recipe for a beginner?   (seriouseats.com) divider line
    More: Misc, Bread, quick breads, batch of buttery Parker House rolls, bread recipes, yeast breads, banana bread, fluffy loaf, best dinner roll  
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360 clicks; posted to Food » on 18 Feb 2019 at 2:12 AM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2019-02-18 02:43:08 AM  
Buy a bread machine to handle the heavy lifting for you.  The bead machine will likely come with a recipe book.  These are often surprisingly decent recipes.  I don't use it for cooking said bread, but for mixing up dough they save a lot of needless bs.
 
2019-02-18 02:44:22 AM  
Err - to clarify - do not attempt to make bread dough in a bead machine.  That's not gonna end well.  Sigh.
 
2019-02-18 03:12:35 AM  
Alton Brown's is pretty easy.  (I'd recommend watching the episode if you want to make this one, the recipe on the website misses a few nuances.)

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/a​l​ton-brown/very-basic-bread-recipe-1916​079

I've also found Joy of Cooking's recipe to be good and straightforward.  Also that recipe makes bread by hand if you want to do it that way.  But I'd recommend rapid rise or instant yeast rather than active dry for anyone who isn't a bread wizard.  Activating yeast is tricky and not exactly rewarding.  Supposedly bread flour makes better bread but I've made bread with all-purpose and it's good that way too.

Most homemade breads are going to be "crusty" by default compared to store bought.
 
2019-02-18 04:55:04 AM  
So, I got into baking bread a few years ago. Let me give you some advice based on what I found in my trial and error.

A) Baking bread is more chemistry than cooking so:
1. Be very careful with your measurements. Double check everything.
2. Follow the recipe exactly. Resist the urge to wing it, skip steps, substitute, or adjust until you know it inside out. If it asks for bread flour, use bread flour. If it says to sift, then sift. These steps are there for a good reason and they WILL affect the outcome.
3. Recipes that list weights rather than volumes tend to produce more consistent (not necessarily better) results. Consistency will allow you to tweak and improve as you try the same recipe over and over.
B) Some things are out of your control, especially as regards proofing. Practice until you get  a feel for how your bread should look and feel at each stage. How (method) and how long you knead, how long it proofs, the temperature/humidity, even how/when you punch down can change things drastically. Practice is the only master here.
C) Ingredient quality really matters. Since bread has relatively few ingredients, it's hard to mask or cover for low quality. I really like King Arthur flour. I never really found a yeast that I could swear by (my local store had only 2 options and I didn't get quite into it enough to special order), but I did eventually make my own wild starter, which was pretty cool. Time consuming, but fun and tasty. I've given that up though as too much work.

If you like crusty, it's hard to beat a baguette. Here is the recipe I used:

https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recip​e​s/classic-baguettes-recipe
 
2019-02-18 04:55:18 AM  
I'd avoid the bread flour as it can make the bread super chewy. All-purpose works just fine.

Anyway, here's the recipe I've been using for awhile (from the NY Times).  If you don't have a baking stone, just line a baking sheet with some parchment paper, that will work just fine.

Simple Crusty Bread
Ingredients
1 ½ tablespoons dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
6 ½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough
Cornmeal
3 cups lukewarm water

Preparation
In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).

Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.
 
2019-02-18 04:56:08 AM  
White bread?
Have you no sense of Wonder?
 
2019-02-18 07:53:32 AM  
Bread is hard.  In addition to the elements listed above, you have to account for your kitchen (proofing area) temperature and the humidity throughout the baking process.  Be prepared to bake a whole lot of hard bricks before you figure it out.
 
2019-02-18 07:58:44 AM  
Also, while all of the advice in this thread is good, don't let it frighten you. Even if you have an ugly misshapen thing that doesn't look like any of the bread porn photos, it's still gonna smell and taste wonderful right out of the oven with some good butter or olive oil. Jump right in.
 
2019-02-18 08:04:39 AM  
Follow one of the no-knead recipes. They are easy and virtually foolproof. This fool can testify to that. Just be sure to get a scale and weigh your ingredients and follow the recipe to the letter. "My Bread" by Jim Lahey is a fantastic resource for this kind of bread making. You don't need a machine to make delicious crusty bread.
 
2019-02-18 08:25:28 AM  

kyuzokai: C) Ingredient quality really matters. Since bread has relatively few ingredients, it's hard to mask or cover for low quality. I really like King Arthur flour. I never really found a yeast that I could swear by (my local store had only 2 options and I didn't get quite into it enough to special order), but I did eventually make my own wild starter, which was pretty cool. Time consuming, but fun and tasty. I've given that up though as too much work.


And triple check that the yeast is the right type, and not expired.
 
2019-02-18 08:25:55 AM  

dodecahedron: Follow one of the no-knead recipes. They are easy and virtually foolproof. This fool can testify to that. Just be sure to get a scale and weigh your ingredients and follow the recipe to the letter. "My Bread" by Jim Lahey is a fantastic resource for this kind of bread making. You don't need a machine to make delicious crusty bread.


10x this.
 
2019-02-18 08:26:19 AM  
I prefer the Dutch oven method (snicker). The resulting loaf is great for dipping with it's harder crust.
 
2019-02-18 08:34:57 AM  

rummonkey: I prefer the Dutch oven method (snicker). The resulting loaf is great for dipping with it's harder crust.


This is what Lahey instructs in the no-knead method, and it works great. Get big thick pot holders though.
 
DAR [TotalFark]
2019-02-18 08:47:53 AM  
Freezer bread.......5 loaves for under 5 bucks....take out the frozen loaf in the am before you go to work, .... oven ready when you get home from work.... bake 35 min's @ 350.....been feeding my family fresh bread for years this way....k/dar
 
2019-02-18 08:59:48 AM  
There's a reason that bread is a staple food, and that people have been making and eating it for millennia- it's pretty dang simple.

Don't try and make it a science. Throw together some flour, water, salt, and yeast. Mix it, bake it. If you didn't like some aspect of it, change it.

If somebody tries to tell you that making bread is some sort of exotic scientific secret, and a peek behind the curtain is only available to the select few, they're lying to you. Or they're really self-important. Either way, laugh at them to yourself, move on, and bake some bread.
 
2019-02-18 09:17:23 AM  

Gonz: There's a reason that bread is a staple food, and that people have been making and eating it for millennia- it's pretty dang simple.

Don't try and make it a science. Throw together some flour, water, salt, and yeast. Mix it, bake it. If you didn't like some aspect of it, change it.

If somebody tries to tell you that making bread is some sort of exotic scientific secret, and a peek behind the curtain is only available to the select few, they're lying to you. Or they're really self-important. Either way, laugh at them to yourself, move on, and bake some bread.


This is an advice thread.  Someone asked for tips.  There's a reason why bakers have been around a long time, and it has nothing to do with lying and feeling self important.
 
2019-02-18 09:41:39 AM  

Gonz: There's a reason that bread is a staple food, and that people have been making and eating it for millennia- it's pretty dang simple.

Don't try and make it a science. Throw together some flour, water, salt, and yeast. Mix it, bake it. If you didn't like some aspect of it, change it.

If somebody tries to tell you that making bread is some sort of exotic scientific secret, and a peek behind the curtain is only available to the select few, they're lying to you. Or they're really self-important. Either way, laugh at them to yourself, move on, and bake some bread.


True to a point, but starting with a decent and precise recipe really cuts down on the number of failures.  It isn't any exotic secret, no - scientific, yeah.  There are definitely breads where precise measuring, combination order, paying attention to methods of ingredient addition, etc. are bloody important if you actually wish to end up eating good bread.  There are also some breads where you can throw shiat in and go.  Depends on what you want to make.
Tossing stuff in and experimenting is well and good if you have quite a lot of time and attention to devote to trying to get things sorted.  It's not encouraging if you want to get it right fairly quickly.  Fark around with your own creations after the recipes have taught you the basics is my recommendation.  Then you've the knowledge base to do semi-intelligent experimentation.

/meant to add this to my primary post before - but I'm tired - so...
//cusinart convection series bread machine here
///can put nearly anything together and do it well - past week friend used it to run up 5 batches of King cake for a Mardi gras thing.  Even former New Orleans residents were all over it
 
2019-02-18 09:42:37 AM  
I highly recommend the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day cookbook.

Here's their base recipe:  https://artisanbreadinfive.c​om/2013/10​/22/the-new-artisan-bread-in-five-minu​tes-a-day-is-launched-back-to-basics-u​pdated/
 
2019-02-18 09:52:37 AM  

Gonz: Don't try and make it a science. Throw together some flour, water, salt, and yeast. Mix it, bake it. If you didn't like some aspect of it, change it.


This is horrible advice bordering on absurd.  Your profile says you like "eating well", and I shudder to think what that might mean to you.

Gonz: There's a reason that bread is a staple food, and that people have been making and eating it for millennia- it's pretty dang simple.


There's a big difference between simple and easy.  Sure, there are few ingredients and the methods employed are fairly straightforward, but pulling something out of the oven that is close to what you want is anything but. As a previous poster mentioned, plenty of failed attempts are still delicious. They may not, however, be what you were aiming for.

Gonz: If somebody tries to tell you that making bread is some sort of exotic scientific secret, and a peek behind the curtain is only available to the select few, they're lying to you. Or they're really self-important. Either way, laugh at them to yourself, move on, and bake some bread.


I'd venture to say that you'll never find a person that can consistently make delicious bread that doesn't have tons of experience.  I did it every other weekend for about two years and was mediocre at best. Like any craft, practice is the key. Would you trust a novice bricklayer to build the walls of your house? It's simple, just slap some water, sand and cement together and start to stack the bricks, right?
 
2019-02-18 09:56:50 AM  

Ker_Thwap:This is an advice thread.  Someone asked for tips.  There's a reason why bakers have been around a long time, and it has nothing to do with lying and feeling self important.

Sure, but it's a discussion about bread. Bread is not difficult to make. Bread is easy. People have been doing it for a long time. Some of the finest bread I've ever tasted- and, granted, it was flatbread- was apparently cooked on a hubcap over an open flame.

Now, if you're a novice, looking to dip your toe into something you've never done before, which advice would make you want to give it a shot, and which would make you say "to Hell with this, I'll just pick something up from the bakery"?

#1: kyuzokai: Be very careful with your measurements... Double check everything... Follow the recipe exactly...


Ker_Thwap: Bread is hard.


#2: "Bread is easy. Give it a whirl, and go from there!"

Then again, I did mention "self-important". That wouldn't come up in this discussion, right?

There's a reason why bakers have been around a long time

Oh.
 
2019-02-18 10:00:51 AM  
You don't need to limit yourself to boring white bread for an easy bread recipe to start off with. Focaccia bread is pretty simple to get right, and a darn sight more flavorful.

Rosemary focaccia:

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
3.5 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 to 2 ounces grated cheese (either cheddar or something fancy like asiago)

In a stand mixer add yeast, sugar, and water. Let it sit until the yeast has activated (lots of foam), 5 minutes.

Turn on stand mixer on low, slowly add flour.

Dissolve the salt in a little bit of water, add to mix. Add oil and cheese.

Once everything is incorporated knead for about 10 minutes. Some prefer muscle power, but a dough hook attachment on the stand mixer will work as well.

Form into a ball and transfer to a well oiled bowl to let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.

Turn out dough onto a baking sheet and stretch out to be around half an inch thick all around. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle more cheese and rosemary to taste.

Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes.
 
2019-02-18 10:01:40 AM  
How about a quick bread, like soda bread? Saves all that faffing around with

170g plain flour
170g self-raising flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
290ml buttermilk (or 290ml milk + 2 tablespoons lemon juice)

Mix the dry stuff, mix in the milk, knead briefly on a floured surface, make into a flattened ball on the baking tray, cut a cross in the top for authenticity, and bake at 180ºC for 30 minutes.
 
2019-02-18 10:02:32 AM  
*with yeast and proving and stuff...
 
2019-02-18 10:03:20 AM  

Klivian: You don't need to limit yourself to boring white bread for an easy bread recipe to start off with. Focaccia bread is pretty simple to get right, and a darn sight more flavorful.

Rosemary focaccia:

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
3.5 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 to 2 ounces grated cheese (either cheddar or something fancy like asiago)

In a stand mixer add yeast, sugar, and water. Let it sit until the yeast has activated (lots of foam), 5 minutes.

Turn on stand mixer on low, slowly add flour.

Dissolve the salt in a little bit of water, add to mix. Add oil and cheese, and rosemary

Once everything is incorporated knead for about 10 minutes. Some prefer muscle power, but a dough hook attachment on the stand mixer will work as well.

Form into a ball and transfer to a well oiled bowl to let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.

Turn out dough onto a baking sheet and stretch out to be around half an inch thick all around. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle more cheese and rosemary to taste.

Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes.


Oops, forgot the rosemary
 
2019-02-18 10:08:48 AM  

Gonz: Ker_Thwap:
Now, if you're a novice, looking to dip your toe into something you've never done before, which advice would make you want to give it a shot, and which would make you say "to Hell with this, I'll just pick something up from the bakery"?


Neither. But making batch after batch of shiat will undoubtedly turn a novice off.

Your assertion that bread is easy is just untrue. Simple, yes. Easy, no.

As for self importance, I don't see what that even enters into it. If you want to learn a craft, you need practice and discipline. What's self important about that?
 
2019-02-18 10:35:43 AM  

Klivian: You don't need to limit yourself to boring white bread for an easy bread recipe to start off with. Focaccia bread is pretty simple to get right, and a darn sight more flavorful.

Rosemary focaccia:

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
3.5 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 to 2 ounces grated cheese (either cheddar or something fancy like asiago)

In a stand mixer add yeast, sugar, and water. Let it sit until the yeast has activated (lots of foam), 5 minutes.

Turn on stand mixer on low, slowly add flour.

Dissolve the salt in a little bit of water, add to mix. Add oil and cheese.

Once everything is incorporated knead for about 10 minutes. Some prefer muscle power, but a dough hook attachment on the stand mixer will work as well.

Form into a ball and transfer to a well oiled bowl to let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.

Turn out dough onto a baking sheet and stretch out to be around half an inch thick all around. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle more cheese and rosemary to taste.

Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes.


Going to give this a shot. Thanks :)
 
2019-02-18 10:45:43 AM  
bobug:

Going to give this a shot. Thanks :)

Make sure you check my correction for when to add rosemary, but good luck to you! It's super easy, taking about 2 hours total and comes out great. Either dip in seasoned olive oil or use it to sop up sauce from something else you make. It pairs really well with a pasta with red sauce, because pasta clearly isn't enough carbs.
 
2019-02-18 10:50:58 AM  
I know this is about yeast breads... and I used to be into that more than I am now. I used to make pumpernickel or rye bread and it was gooood. Never really did do a lot of white or sourdough. I love french bread too, but I can buy nice New Orleans french bread any day all day. That and some good butter. NOM! I don't

That said... an Irish soda bread is a nice compromise. You get that nice zen infusion from making bread. You don't get that yeasty smell wafting throughout the house but it still  smells like something nice. I guess you could add some yeast to it for flavor, but I never really experimented with that. Maybe I will someday. Fresh out of the oven it's warm and crusty. That and some nice butter. I use Kerrygold. (What else?)

/ once again, I have contributed nothing.
 
2019-02-18 10:53:06 AM  

Klivian: bobug:

Going to give this a shot. Thanks :)

Make sure you check my correction for when to add rosemary, but good luck to you! It's super easy, taking about 2 hours total and comes out great. Either dip in seasoned olive oil or use it to sop up sauce from something else you make. It pairs really well with a pasta with red sauce, because pasta clearly isn't enough carbs.


I was thinking about it, with a nice olive oil and maybe some GOOD balsamic vinegar added in. mmmm.
 
2019-02-18 10:55:50 AM  
I'm not sure where the extra "I don't" came from. I'm not sure what I don't. If I do find out what I don't ! will try not to do that don't.

/ don't
 
2019-02-18 11:27:25 AM  

kyuzokai: Neither. But making batch after batch of shiat will undoubtedly turn a novice off.


As with making anything -- a pie crust, a loaf of bread, an acoustic guitar, a drawer with dovetails, a batch of beer -- skillz improve over time. A first (or second or third) attempt at baking bread might not win any competitions, but unless something's really wrong it'll be edible and tasty and the novice baker will progress as they see fit to.

"Batch after batch of shiat" probably ain't gonna happen. People who want to grow their own starter from wild yeasts living on grapes and weigh all ingredients to the milligram and control oven humidity to the nearest percent can always go that route if they're so inspired. Someone a little less fancy can make loaf after loaf of something simple and have results that vary a little bit can be perfectly happy.

Bake what you like. Eat what you like. There's nothing about bread baking that needs to be intimidating to any beginner. Dive in. Get fancy or scientific if your first results are unsatisfying, if ya wanna. Or don't, if you like what you made, if you don't wanna.
 
2019-02-18 11:29:07 AM  

zamboni: I use Kerrygold. (What else?)


There's lots of good butters out there.
 
2019-02-18 11:32:14 AM  

rummonkey: I prefer the Dutch oven method (snicker). The resulting loaf is great for dipping with it's harder crust.


Agreed. Dutch ovens are great for breads and annoying your wife.

I like making Amish dinner rolls a lot.
 
2019-02-18 12:08:17 PM  
Don't ruin your life by getting into the 'sourdough starter' frenzy. You will spend more time with the starter than your family.
http://carlsfriends.net/ free starter and info - worry free sour dough bread anytime you want. I just got my new batch last week.
 
2019-02-18 12:10:33 PM  

phaseolus: zamboni: I use Kerrygold. (What else?)

There's lots of good butters out there.


True.

But it's readily available to me, affordable, I like it, and it's Irish, like me*, for my Irish soda bread.

/* user name does not check out
 
2019-02-18 12:15:43 PM  

phaseolus: zamboni: I use Kerrygold. (What else?)

There's lots of good butters out there.


Shoot! Just looked at your profile.

"Wisconsin like typing detected"

Yes, yes. Wisconsin makes some damned fine dairy products. Just not as available to me.
 
2019-02-18 12:33:03 PM  
Take a look at what The Pioneer Woman has to say about bread (or anything else food-related, really. This is my favorite food blog.)

https://thepioneerwoman.com/
 
2019-02-18 12:35:20 PM  
Everything Kyuzokai said is good advice AND I'd repeat what others have noted: making decent bread is pretty easy. Start with good recipes (I like Reinhardt's Bread Bakers Apprentice and King Arthur Flour recipes), follow the instructions closely, and your bread will likely come out fine. Weigh your ingredients if possible. Pay close attention to what works and what doesn't and you will improve dramatically and quickly.

Here's a good, easy focaccia recipe: https://www.seriouseats.com/r​ecipes/20​17/04/easy-roasted-garlic-focaccia-no-​knead-bread-recipe.html
 
2019-02-18 12:48:57 PM  
Bread is one of the easiest things you can make. The dough is very forgiving and you don't need to be precise at all with the ingredients. You can make great bread with just yeast, salt, flour, and water.

The main thing is to use good yeast and make sure you don't kill it with too hot water. If not sure, make the water cooler. The only problem will be that it takes the dough longer to rise. The other problem novice bread bakers have is adding too much flour. There is a difference between dough that is sticky and dough that sticks to your hands. If it actually sticks to your hands when kneading (like you need to scrape it off), add a little more flour.

Other tips:

Let it proof (rise) in a room with no drafts. I like my laundry room but if I am doing laundry I will put the dough in my oven (off, of course) with the door closed.

Mix the salt in with the first or second cup of flour. Too much salt all at once can shock the yeast and it will take the bread longer to rise.

If you aren't sure, knead it more.

If you want to experiment with other flours, you usually need to mix it with white flour.

Sweet breads (coffee cake, cinnamon rolls, etc) take longer to rise (many need 3 proofing periods) but they are really worth it.

You can make the dough crustier if you mist water in the oven 5 minutes after placing the loaf in (you can also place a pan of hot water in the lower rack but I find the misting works better)

Milk instead of water makes a softer, denser loaf which is great for sandwiches.You still want to use some water to activate the yeast (about 1/4 cup is good). If you are not a milk drinker and don't keep it in the house, dry milk works great.

My favorite basic bread:

1 package yeast
2 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5-6 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, salt and 3 cups flour. Beat until well mixed. Stir in remaining flour to form a soft dough.Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; divide in half. Shape each portion into a loaf. Place each loaf seam side down on a greased baking sheet or peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across top of each loaf. Place baking sheet in oven or slide loaves off peel onto baking stone. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
 
2019-02-18 01:00:31 PM  

Krokodil Tears: How about a quick bread, like soda bread? Saves all that faffing around with

170g plain flour
170g self-raising flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
290ml buttermilk (or 290ml milk + 2 tablespoons lemon juice)

Mix the dry stuff, mix in the milk, knead briefly on a floured surface, make into a flattened ball on the baking tray, cut a cross in the top for authenticity, and bake at 180ºC for 30 minutes.


Here is my favorite Soda Bread recipe. Fermenting it for 12 hours really brings out the flavor.

1 cup regular rolled oats
2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons dark molasses
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Mix rolled oats, buttermilk, and molasses in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.

Whisk together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar until combined; pour flour mixture into buttermilk mixture and stir just until moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead 3 or 4 times until dough holds its shape.

Cut dough in half; pat each half into a 6-inch round loaf.

Use a sharp knife to deeply score each loaf in quarters, cutting 1-inch deep.

Wrap each loaf in plastic wrap and allow to stand at least 12 hours at room temperature to ferment. (Loaves can be refrigerated up to 2 more days after this, if desired.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Place loaves on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake loaves for 15 minutes and reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue to bake until loaves are browned and make a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom, about 20 more minutes.

Allow breads to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
 
2019-02-18 01:02:59 PM  

vinniethepoo: Take a look at what The Pioneer Woman has to say about bread (or anything else food-related, really. This is my favorite food blog.)

https://thepioneerwoman.com/


I met her years ago when she was on her book-signing tour. We didn't know about getting tickets ahead of time, and got to the library where the signing was taking place and found a long, long, long line. Her rep came out and assured everyone that they would have their books signed. I think they were even surprised by the turnout. We were the second to last to have our book signed. By that time she has been signing books, listening to stories, posing for pics, and receiving all sorts of food gifts for four hours. She was as lovely and gracious with us and gave us as much time as she had the first people in line. I was already a fan, but that really sealed it for me. I was also living in a very small town at the time, so her recipes really worked for me because I could always find the ingredients in our local market.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-02-18 01:43:30 PM  

Gonz: Ker_Thwap:This is an advice thread.  Someone asked for tips.  There's a reason why bakers have been around a long time, and it has nothing to do with lying and feeling self important.

Sure, but it's a discussion about bread. Bread is not difficult to make. Bread is easy. People have been doing it for a long time. Some of the finest bread I've ever tasted- and, granted, it was flatbread- was apparently cooked on a hubcap over an open flame.

Now, if you're a novice, looking to dip your toe into something you've never done before, which advice would make you want to give it a shot, and which would make you say "to Hell with this, I'll just pick something up from the bakery"?

#1: kyuzokai: Be very careful with your measurements... Double check everything... Follow the recipe exactly...

Ker_Thwap: Bread is hard.

#2: "Bread is easy. Give it a whirl, and go from there!"

Then again, I did mention "self-important". That wouldn't come up in this discussion, right?

There's a reason why bakers have been around a long time

Oh.


Are you just trying to be an ass?  Yes, it's easy to make bread, if your goal is to ward off starvation.  I can make a simple pizza dough, or Naan bread, or some sort of dense half risen loaf, without even measuring ingredients.  If I want to make a specific kind of bread, then that requires technique.  If I want to repeat that specific bread, from one season to the next, then that's an added degree of difficulty.
 
2019-02-18 01:51:36 PM  
I'm gonna need some clarification, subby.

You said "crusty".

How crusty?  Like German baguette crusty, or pretzel crusty?

Do you want chewy to go with your crusty, or do you want it crusty all the way through like croutons?
 
2019-02-18 03:07:24 PM  
Repeating some of the stuff above, but I've been making bread for well over ten years now.  In that time, I've gone from poor results (not enough kneading), to better results (kneading with a stand mixer), to barely any kneading at all (typically only when shaping the loaf after the first proof).  I've gone from fast proofs to get the bread made quickly, to longer and slower proofs to build more flavor.  If you're a novice, you should try to follow recipes closely until you develop a feel for making bread.  Weigh your ingredients instead of measuring them by volume -- you'll get more consistent results.  Bake with steam and high heat if you want a good, crusty loaf of bread.  A heavy dutch oven (preferably cast iron) is great for that, but if you go the baking stone route, then put a pan of water on the lowest rack.  If you want a soft loaf of bread, consider adding dairy and/or other fats and bake at a lower heat.

Make bread long enough, and you can skip the measurements.  For recipes I've made many times, I can tell by the feel of the dough if I've added the correct amount of water, and if I'm trying a new recipe, I frequently add the amount of water that feels right if the recipe seems wrong to me.
 
2019-02-18 03:46:15 PM  
I'm sure you have plenty of basic recipes by now.  I just want to say DO NOT USE A BREAD MACHINE, you might as well just go to the store and buy it.
 
2019-02-18 03:58:24 PM  

Wave Of Anal Fury: Repeating some of the stuff above, but I've been making bread for well over ten years now.  In that time, I've gone from poor results (not enough kneading), to better results (kneading with a stand mixer), to barely any kneading at all (typically only when shaping the loaf after the first proof).  I've gone from fast proofs to get the bread made quickly, to longer and slower proofs to build more flavor.  If you're a novice, you should try to follow recipes closely until you develop a feel for making bread.  Weigh your ingredients instead of measuring them by volume -- you'll get more consistent results.  Bake with steam and high heat if you want a good, crusty loaf of bread.  A heavy dutch oven (preferably cast iron) is great for that, but if you go the baking stone route, then put a pan of water on the lowest rack.  If you want a soft loaf of bread, consider adding dairy and/or other fats and bake at a lower heat.

Make bread long enough, and you can skip the measurements.  For recipes I've made many times, I can tell by the feel of the dough if I've added the correct amount of water, and if I'm trying a new recipe, I frequently add the amount of water that feels right if the recipe seems wrong to me.


This is good advice throughout this thread and particularly in this post here. I also am an experienced home bread maker. A few additional tips:

One thing to watch: if you're trying to add humidity to your oven to increase crustiness, be careful. Some glass windows in oven doors will crack with too much steam. The Dutch Oven method is a little safer and yields a nicely crusty result. Use heavy pot-holders to avoid baker's tattoos.

Second, leftover sourdough from the levin or sponge makes the BEST overnight sourdough waffle batter. Check Maurizio's website at https://www.theperfectloaf.com for info on sourdough in general and those heavenly waffles in particular. I really get a kick out of using the wild sourdough starter I cultured from the yeast & bacteria in my kitchen. It lies dormant in the fridge between bakings, and I only have to feed it every two/three weeks. It takes about 2-3 days to revive for baking, but it's not nearly as labor-intensive as some have described above.

As everyone sez: bread is as easy or as complex as you want to make it. Like sailing or beer-making, there are a LOT of variables you can tweak. If you enjoy that, it becomes a real calling. If you don't, there are plenty of super simple recipes. Particular attention, especially when using sourdough rather than package yeast, must be paid to hydration (water/flour ratio), proofing temperature & duration, and ingredient quality.

Make the waffles! https://www.theperfectloaf.c​om/my-top-​3-leftover-sourdough-starter-recipes/ My god, you won't regret it!
 
2019-02-18 04:34:06 PM  
Is the first sentence appears to be a question? Are you not sure whether you've made your own bread?
 
2019-02-18 04:38:37 PM  

KumquatMay: One thing to watch: if you're trying to add humidity to your oven to increase crustiness, be careful. Some glass windows in oven doors will crack with too much steam. The Dutch Oven method is a little safer and yields a nicely crusty result. Use heavy pot-holders to avoid baker's tattoos.


Fortunately, I've never had that happen.  My daughter and I make baguettes every weekend, and I'm usually baking them (on a stone) at 475-500 with a pan of water.
 
2019-02-18 04:43:08 PM  
And as for softer breads (which my daughter prefers every time she gets her braces tightened), this sounds really weird -- but is incredibly good.

https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recip​e​s/yeasted-banana-sandwich-bread-recipe​

A yeast bread that incorporates mashed bananas into them.  The milk and the butter help create a nice, soft loaf.  Great for sandwiches, toast, and makes a really good French toast.
 
2019-02-18 04:45:40 PM  

cyberspacedout: Is the first sentence appears to be a question? Are you not sure whether you've made your own bread?


Sigh... I try to be snarky, and this phone keyboard inserts the wrong word. *headdesk*
 
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